Twitter for Business: Everything You Should Know
Twitter for Business: Everything You Should Know – If you’ve got a business, it’s likely you’ve got a Twitter account, too. If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity to market to more than 284 million active users around the world — for free. That’s the power of social media.
Twitter may seem like a breeze, but if you really want to take your social marketing to the next level, you need to know the ins and outs of every network you’re on. And using Twitter requires a lot more effort than just sharing a link and throwing in a hashtag or two.
Want to be a tactful tweeter? Here’s everything you need to know about the social networking platform.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social networking platform through which users can share short messages (under 140 characters each) also known as “tweets” with the rest of the Internet. The platform, which was created and launched in 2006 by founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass, is Web-based and has a mobile App in addition to its own native platform, Tweetdeck, which is available on the Web and on mobile devices as well.
Twitter now has over 500 million users worldwide, and over 284 million monthly active users as of September 2014, according to the company’s third-quarter financial report. Twitter is one of the top 10 websites in the United States and is currently ranked no. 8 globally, according to Internet analytics company Alexa.
How does it work?
To use Twitter, first you have to sign up for a profile. While unregistered users can visit your profile (so long as it’s public), only registered users can share tweets and interact with other users.
To sign up, you need to fill in your name and email address, create a password, and choose a username. Usernames, or @handles, are alphanumeric (meaning they can include letters and numbers) and case sensitive. They can also include underscores. You can change your username at any time.
When you sign in to your Twitter account, you’re taken to your home page. Twitter uses a dashboard-type interface, like Facebook and Tumblr. Across the top of the page is your navigation bar, where you can access your home page, notifications and messages, and browse the Discover tab.
On the right-hand side is a search bar, along with your user icon (clicking this will take you to your account and profile settings) and a Compose Tweet button.
Under the navigation bar, on the left-hand side, is a box that displays your profile’s cover photo, your user icon, name and @handle, along with the number of tweets you’ve shared, the number of users you follow and the number of followers you have. Below that is the trends box, which shows you the top 10 trending topics and hashtags on Twitter at that moment.
On the right-hand side, there is another box entitled Who to Follow that displays suggested Twitter users and gives you the option to import your contacts from Gmail or connect to other address books. (Alternately, depending on the size of your screen and your screen resolution, this box could be on the left-hand side below the trending topics box.)
At the center of the dashboard is your Twitter feed. At the top of the feed is a box in which you can compose a tweet. The rest of your Twitter feed contains tweets from users you follow along with the occasional ad. The feed features infinite scrolling and is updated in real time as users share posts. From there, you can retweet, favorite and reply to others’ tweets.
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